SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMG411931
Module Leader Peter Barrie
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Computing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module is concerned with the development and presentation of an MSc Dissertation on a topic relevant to the student's named programme. The dissertation project will be based on the proposal prepared by the student prior to the start of the MSc Dissertation project period. A series of facilitation sessions are provided to support students in developing their MSc Dissertation proposals, including guidance on how to clearly set out the Background, Objectives, Methods and Work-plan . The project is essentially an independent piece of development or research work, and the skills necessary to carry this through will derive from the programme's taught modules . Students will be provided with up to 2 hours guidance in the form of technical consultancy and with up to 6 hours guidance in the form of process consultancy.


There is no defined syllabus per se, but the student will be expected to follow the project plan laid out in his/her proposal. Normally the proposal will specify a number of milestones at the end of major stages, and the student will be expected to submit appropriate deliverables at that time and receive appropriate feedback on this work. The student will be expected to submit a draft of the complete final dissertation in sufficient time to receive and act upon feedback from a supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, the student should be able to:Manage a small development or research project in a timely manner.Deliver the contracted results including intermediate (milestone) deliverables and the final Dissertation. Prepare an appropriately formatted, documented and structured Dissertation reporting on the work carried out. Correctly cite and reference all sources used in their dissertation report, consistently using one referencing convention e.g. Harvard.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The principal learning strategy is Independent Learning. The student will receive an appropriate amount of support for the process and for direction in resolving technical difficulties. The student will submit the Dissertation after 16 weeks. ASSESSMENT Word Limit for Dissertation Report: Not more than 15,000 . Additional bulky material should be submitted separately, preferably on disc. The Dissertation Report and the Presentation will each be marked by a supervisor and an independent second marker. In order to pass the module, the student must obtain at least 50% aggregate and also 50% for the Dissertation Report. A mark of 70% is necessary but not sufficient for the award of Distinction in the MSc (programme regulations apply). Assessment of Dissertation In marking the Dissertation Report, the assessors will have regard to the following factors:- 1) Clarity of Aims and Objectives, and consistency of reported results with these Aims and Objectives (changes are permitted but the reasons for them should be clearly documented and justified) 2) Style and structure of the report, in particular analytic account of the background (baseline) e.g. in a literature review and technology analysis, statement of project aims and objectives (which may include research questions and/or hypotheses if appropriate), methods of work (in the case of a development project this will include stages or phases of software development), results, formal analysis and/or informal evaluation of results, evaluation of project, conclusions and suggestions for future work; correctness and completeness of the citations and references; use of judgement in placing material (e.g. use of Appendices). In assessing literature reviews etc emphasis will be placed on conciseness and relevance, as is appropriate at Masters level. 3) Originality and Initiative 4) Accuracy (Verbal, Mathematical and Conceptual) including an awareness of error in quantitative data. Assessment of Oral Presentation In marking the Oral Presentation, the assessors will have regard to the following factors:- 1)Quality of audiovisual material. 2)Clarity of speaking and presentation. 3)Audience rapport. 4a)Handling of questions showing student has mastered his/her material and understands it context.. 4b)Planning and execution of demonstration, where relevant.

Indicative Reading

The reading to be undertaken in the course of the Dissertation work will be as appropriate to the chosen topic. This will mainly be an extension of the bibliography identified by the student in the course of preparing the proposal. Guidance will be given by supervisors on literature appropriate to the subject of study. Additional Reading Continued study of materials related to the programme's taught modules will be relevant for sources on development methodologies, research methods, report writing etc.

Transferrable Skills

Thinking skills: D1 Critical thinking and problem solving D2 Cognitive/intellectual skills D3 Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject Key life skills: D4 Learning style and orientation to learning D5 Time management: organising and planning work D6 Independent working Practical skills D9 Information Retrieval Skills D13 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D14 Numeracy skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 577.00
Assessment (FT) 15.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 20.00 45% Presentation
Coursework 1 n/a 80.00 45% Dissertation (15,000 words approx.)